As a virtual assistant with multiple clients, I use several tools to not only accomplish my clients’ work, but my own. Today, I thought I’d share my top six favorite tools for getting work done quickly. I could probably share many more than just six, but we’ll start here.
Trello is my favorite organizational tool. I have multiple boards, spanning everything from my work as a virtual assistant to my personal to-do list. With power-ups, I’m able to do things like attach due dates and have things automatically scheduled on my calendar. I can move things around to create a better flow; attach documents, links, and photos; create descriptions and include notes for later.
Trello is probably the biggest thing I use in my day. I use it to create my daily task list so I know what needs to be done everyday, to keep running lists of things that need to get done (such as bills that are due, blog posts to write, etc.), and so much more. It is literally a lifesaver when it comes to work.
I use it so much that I installed the app on my phone, because I constantly have new things that need to be added.
(You can use Asana for the same purpose, if you prefer. It offers essentially the same functionality in a slightly different format.)
Momentum is an add-on to my Google Chrome browser. It offers me pretty pictures when I open a new tab, along with motivational quotes, the time and weather. But it offers me a few other things as well. One is the ability to install time zones at the top of that new table. As a virtual assistant, I sometimes work with clients who are in a different time zone, so this function is very helpful so I don’t have to constantly try to figure out the time for my client in my head.
Another is the To-Do list. It integrates easily with Trello, so I’m able to go back and forth between boards and see my To-Do list in that newly opened tab. I can also set the first task on the list, or any particularly important or large task, as my main focus for the day, so it shows up large and centered on that tab to help keep me on track.
Canva is a great graphic design tool. With tons of templates, free images, fun fonts, and the ability to upload my own images, I can create just about any kind of social media, blog, or other graphic I might need for myself or a client.
The free account is enough to create unlimited graphics, download them, and even save your brand colors. With a paid account, you also get the option to save fonts and more for your brand, as well as resize images for different platforms. The paid account also gives you access to more pro and paid for graphics, though you can access and pay for many premium graphics from a free account – you just pay per download.
With a little studying online of color theory and some knowledge of marketing, you can easily begin creating your own graphics for your blog, social media, or other materials for your business. I wouldn’t say it could totally replace a graphic designer, but if you can’t afford a graphic designer or you prefer to take a DIY approach, Canva is a great fill-in.
SocialPilot is my go-to for social media scheduling. You can link up to 10 accounts on the Individual plan for just $10 a month, and create up to 50 posts per day. You can schedule your posts well in advance, upload images, include links which are automatically shortened, and share to multiple accounts at once.
It also shows you your character count as you create the post, so you can easily see if your post is too long for Twitter.
Like most other social media schedulers, it doesn’t automatically post your content to Instagram, but it is one of the few I’ve used that promises a push notification when it’s time to post the content and actually provides that push notification. That’s a huge plus to me.
Wave is the accounting software I use. It allows for easy, customized invoices, including switching between charging hourly or charging per item. You can customize all your columns, including options for “other” so your invoices can be a perfect match to what you provide.
It allows you to send reminders when invoices are overdue, be paid by credit card through the platform, and send receipts. You can do payroll through it, too.
You can add your bank account to it and use it as a full accounting software, or use it just to send invoices. There’s a full range of options.
And it’s all free. This is ideal for when you’re first starting out, and you want a more professional look but don’t have the money for it. But the great part of Wave is that you won’t have to change later as your business begins to grow.
Any time I need to work on an hourly basis, or if a client just wants me to track the hours on a project, I use Clockify.
It’s easy to get started, and has plenty of options for tracking my time. I can create different projects for different clients, and then track time for individually-created tasks within each project. I can track the time with a timer or manually input it after the fact.
I can see how many hours I’ve worked on a client/project for the day, week, last two weeks, month or specified time period through the dashboard. This makes it super convenient to keep track of hours and know if I’m nearing a specified limit on a project so I can let the client know early.
What are your favorite tools?
What are your favorite tools to get work done? Which ones are most useful or just plain fun?
Share your faves in the comments!